Monday, November 24, 2014

low country morning walk

Hi everyone!
We are back in the Low Country this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. Here are a few shots from my early morning walk today. 

No sunrise, just foggy beauty...

There are glimpses of fall color around.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 17, 2014

two books for gift giving

Hi everyone!

Time to start the holiday season with some gift ideas.

Our daughter works in advertising at the digital magazine Apartment Therapy and its sister site, The Kitchn. The Kitchn released its first cookbook this fall and it makes a wonderful present for a new cook, a young couple or anyone wanting to reorganize and update an outdated kitchen with modern recipes, design ideas and equipment. It is so much more than a cookbook. 

Here is the description of the book by authors Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand....

"The Kitchn Cookbook is not just a big collection of recipes (as much as we love them). Half of the book is devoted to all the other things that make cooking so essential and engaging, like principles for organizing your kitchen effectively, and the best tools to buy. We include 10 real-life kitchen tours, from sleek and modern to worn-in and friendly, and we offer tips and natural solutions for keeping the kitchen clean and tidy.
Only after your kitchen is ship-shape do we dive into food. We talk ingredients — meat, seafood, produce, pantry, and beyond — and we include 50 essential techniques for developing your own cooking skills and learning how to cook without recipes.
The 150 recipes are of course a big chunk of the book — but they're not just recipes brought over from the site. There are some perennial favorites, retested and rewritten (watch for some new flavors of that famous banana ice cream!), but most of the recipes are all-new, offering you healthy, homey cooking with little splashes of elegance."

It is stylish and practical with inspiring photographs throughout, I highly recommend it. Also their daily email updates are fun to receive, always great ideas and recipes. You can purchase The Kitchn Cookbook here on their site, also available at West Elm stores here and all the regular book sellers.
Next up is Inspired by Tradition/The Architecture of Norman Davenport Askins. It features fifteen homes by Atlanta architect Norman Askins. Known in the South for his traditional residential designs, he designed the remodel of our cottage 10 years ago and we are working with him on some ideas for an addition.  
It is a beautiful book! His architectural styles are quite varied. A Caribbean inspired home on Sea Island, GA

a mountain home in North Carolina
his in-town Italian villa in Atlanta 
and many more. The details in his designs are inspired and make each home unique. Here are just a few of my favorite images I took from my copy... the book has beautiful interior design and garden inspiration as well.  
This is such a pretty work space.
A perfect mountain porch.

 The most cozy warm mountain kitchen...

He uses metal doors in a traditional sunroom.

I love how an alcove becomes an elegant dining room in this Atlanta bungalow.

Photos from The Kitchn, West Elm, Norman Askins and my iPhone.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

house & garden inspiration- Bunny Mellon

Hi everyone!

A dose of beauty for today...

Items from the estate of gardener and style icon Bunny Mellon will be auctioned off by Sotheby's this month. Enjoy Charlotte Moss's description of the beauty of her collections and lifestyle.

Read more about the auction in the NYT article here.

Make sure to view the video in full screen!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

autumn activity in the mountains

Hi everyone!

 We have been busy this week.
Our lot was "view cleared", resulting in a much wider view of Whiteside Mountain. This is the view from the little grill deck off to the side of the porch.

The view from the porch is much better but with screens and blinds in place, it is difficult to photograph.

The vinyl blinds are still down from the storms last week, they will stayed closed for the winter. We are loving using the porch on these Indian summer days. Calling for cooler temps later this week.

The sunrise view is pretty in the morning. I found this plant in the yard, no idea what it is. Anyone know?

We added a dozen native Rhododendron Maximus shrubs to the fenced "wildflower" bed (actually very few flowers, only a few asters) in the driveway to accompany one lonely mature Rhodo. 

Also a dozen Woodland or Swamp sunflowers( Helianthus Divaricatus) inside the fence.
The outer edge of the bed has a new rock border and soil. 

We planted perennial blue salvia, anemones and irises so far. Will have to add more as the seasons progress next year.

Some fall color at the entry corner of the bed.

The cutest little acorns are all over the front yard. I have collected some for the house.

Fun to see the gourds and heirloom pumpkins available each autumn. A little orange beanie!

Some beauties at a local farmer's market. The snake gourd has such a beautiful pattern.

 We have been visiting the waterfalls which is a must do fall activity in the mountains.
Silver Run Falls  has a dramatic shelf that the falls spill over into a perfect pool for swimming,

with a glittery bottom flecked with silver that can be seen through the clear water.

Nearby Silver Run Falls is this lovely view of Lake Jocassee in South Carolina. 

Porch days are going to be gone soon, we will enjoy them while we can. We would love a fireplace on the porch to extend the season, that is on the project to-do list.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

fall color around us

Hi everyone! 
(not sure what happened to the first attempt at posting this?)

I want to share some Blue Ridge Mountains fall color on our hike to Glen Falls yesterday afternoon....

Get out and enjoy Mother Nature this week!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

After the storm

We are still here! 
After 2 days of dense fog and one day of high winds and 14" inches of rain. Yes, 14" of rain, we have emerged!

To sunshine!

We were greeted with a sunny dry porch this morning when we opened the curtains,

thanks to the vinyl roll curtains that are so commonly used here. They snap shut and have heavy wood rods to weigh them down on the bottom. They kept everything dry during the driving winds and buckets of rain all day yesterday.

There are leaves and branches everywhere, lots of clean up to do this morning.

Husband gets to put his beloved blower to use. 

We are trying to bring back the damaged holly next to the house, it was hurt during the Polar Vortex of last winter, the coldest temperatures this area of the South has had in many years.

 I spotted a funky pair of mushrooms as I was inspecting the yard, I think they are Russula mushrooms with damaged edges.

Are you cleaning up from the storm in your neck of the woods? 

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 10, 2014

things I like this week

I haven't done one of these in a long time! 

Here are some favorite fall things I am liking this week....

1. Cute cozy fleecy "cloud" slippers, shop here.
2. An asymmetrical grey Scottish cashmere poncho, shop here.
3. A seagrass basket made in Africa of recycled materials to fill an empty corner, shop here.
4. Sweet handmade suede flats made in Spain, shop here.
5. Gather what's left in your perennial border before the first frost and place into a wire basket fitted with jars, find one here, only $8!
6. No more totes for me, I like carrying crossbody bags, love this Annabelle Ingall "Jojo", shop here.
7. A John Derian inspired decoupage bedside tray on etsy, shop here.
8. A made in America wool striped blanket for chilly nights, shop here.
9. A warm and inviting faux bois wallpapered bathroom designed by Benjamin Dhong, source here.

Thanks for visiting!